What’s Next for Ray Rice?
Former Baltimore Ravens running back, Super bowl Champion and 3x Pro-bowler, who’s got turned upside down at the snap of his fingers.
Or better yet, the click of an elevator button.
Now he sits and waits (well, works out and waits) to see which NFL team will give him a second chance.
Here’s a timeline of events that led Rice to be in this position.
- February 15: Rice and Janay Palmer arrested on simple assault charges, details of altercation not clear.
- February 19: Video of Rice dragging Palmer from an elevator released to the public.
- February 21: Ravens stand by Rice and defend him.
- March 26: Roger Goodell addresses Rice.
- March 27: Rice indicted, chargers went from simple assault to aggravated assault. Palmer stated that she did not was to go forward with prosecution.
- March 28: Rice and Palmer get married.
- May 23: Rice accepted into pretrial intervention program instead of taking case to trial. Ray and Janay Rice had press conference.
- June 16: Rice has discipline meeting with Goodell.
- July 24: NFL suspends Rice 2 games.
- September 8: Full video of Rice punching his wife in the face is released to the public. Ravens release Rice and the NFL suspends him indefinitely.
- September 9-10: NFL and Ravens say they did not see the full video prior to it being released.
- September 16: Rice appeals indefinite suspension
- November 2-5: Hearings held
- November 28: Rice wins appeal, NFL reinstates him.
So this leaves us with the question, what’s next for Ray Rice?
In his last season, Rice posted career-low stats. He had a total of 483 YARDS LESS than the season before and his yards per carry dropped to 3.1. Obviously these numbers are not helping Rice in his hunt for a new team.
However, some teams are down running backs and could use a veteran like Rice. Plus, in my opinion, this guy has so much to prove that he will come out guns blazing – if he gets signed. But seriously, look at these quick feet.
Rice has been able to sign with teams for months now – and still nothing. Which teams will be willing to take a chance on a man who quickly became the face of domestic violence?
The issue with the Browns running backs is that they are all young, Isaiah Crowell and Terrence West will be returning for their second season. Last year combined they had 1,280 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. The Browns added another running back in this year’s draft – Duke Johnson. With no go-to wide receiver or even a set quarterback, veteran Rice could be the key that this offense needs, especially during a season where Cleveland has a lot to prove.
With Demarco Murray gone, the Cowboys look to fill the running back role. Right now, Darren McFadden looks to be their starting running back, although he comes with some concerns. And then there’s Joseph Randle aka underwear thief, who Andy Benoit from Sports Illustrated believes can have a 1,500 yard season. It probably won’t take much money to sign Rice, as it seems he just wants to get back on a team. With the Cowboys’ limited cap space and Rice’s ability to be an every-down back, we have to wonder if Rice will be a Cowboy this season. Plus we all know Jerry loves him some controversial boys.
Because they have such a structured program, Rice would benefit from being on the Patriots, as well as they would benefit from signing him. With LeGarrette Blount suspended for the beginning of the season, and both Stevan Ridey and Shane Vereen lost in free agency, the Pats need depth at the running back position. Plus, with the future of Tom Brady unknown, they need all the help on offense they can get. The help of Rice may not be a bad thing for the Patriots, as long as they can get past all the media distractions. Also, yet another coach who has no problem with some controversy.
The Raiders always seem to be the team giving players second chances, so could this happen with Rice? Trent Richardson, the Raiders former third overall pick, is just averaging 3.3 yards per carry. With the addition of wide receiver Amari Cooper they are looking to build their offense, but who fills that running back role? Is it Latavius Murray – who showed some spark last season, Richardson who needs to step it up, or will it be Rice looking to redeem himself?
Yes, these teams are in need of running backs, but can they over look Rice’s past, confront the media and fans and give him that second chance?
Call me crazy, but I think they should.